tv Book Discussion on Trust Betrayed CSPAN March 29, 2015 3:30pm-4:16pm EDT
booktv.org. >> next on booktv, former navy seal sunshiner and iraq war veteran, scott taylor. he argues that president obama and his administration are hurting u.s. national security and should be held accountable. this is about 45 minutes. [applause] >> thank you so much. thank you so much for that wonderful introduction. good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> that was pretty weak. let's try that again. good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> all right. that's a little bit better. i appreciate that production. i was going 0 to go into that but i'll shift gears a little bit. i had the pleasure of going to the ranch today and it was as humble as it was beautiful. and i really enjoyed it. and it is certainly an or some pleasure to be with you here today and the young americans as well. look, i was walking through with
andrew upstairs and one of the things even at the ranch i saw reagan's books, and i was looking at it, man, a lot of different topic skis had a curiosity, so i was drawn it to and liked it. then when i was walking with andrew upstairs we looked at the books and there is one book that stood out and it was louis l 'amore. i was 13 years old reading comic books. how many of you know what big brothers and big sisters is? so i'm a little brother. and my big brother is now 75. well, he is more like a father, of course. when i was 13 he caught me reading comic books. he said why are you read these comic books? let me give you real books to read, and i was always getting in trouble in school because i got my work done quickly and would start talking and spitting spitballs that ornery kids do. he said why don't you read real
books and that will help you not get in trouble. he gives me this being of louis l'amore books. i read every one and then every one in the county library read 65 of his books and if you have read them they're all the same story, just have different characters. right? but what is really important about that it and what louis changed the trajectory of my live, because after i got done with any seal training and each team had a different area of operation in the world and we were complete -- we completed ore training and the instructors paraded in and they were describing the areas of operation. and when seal team four's time he said south america is the wild wild west. that's where i'm going. because of louis l 'amore.
i love this country and would do anything humanly possible to defend her from enemies foreign or domestic. i know that's not complicate expelled it's certainly not that flashy, but i guarantee that everyone in this room agrees with that sentiments. but i also believe that now more than ever, it needs to be said out loud, by men and women like all of us by men and women like all around the nation, it's been. i spent a decent part of my 'life defending the country and they challenged me greatly, and they certainly scared me more than enough. but that's what motivated know stand up at this pivotal time in history to say that we need to change the way that we look at ourselves, the way we interact within the world and how we
lead our fellow freedom-based democratic nations in the decades ahead. and i think that speaking out is really just the next step any own personal journaly, and it is a journey that has taken me from freezing in in the rolling surf of the pacific ocean in seal training so making buildings deep behind iraqi lines and to now mr. jefferson's capitol in richmond virginia as state delegate. that journey began on maryland's quiet eastern shore. i was raided by a single mother and didn't have much focus on academics, and my family's lack of money and my mediocre grades made the military the best chance to get out of the small town. and i know it sounds trite but i really wanted to see the world and in fact in my book, i write, the fact is, i really did not have a strong opinion on the service aspect of joining the military. that would come later. for me, it was all about the
challenge. and i just wanted to tackle the hardest thing that anyone could throw at me. and i'm pretty sure there's a lot of seals that would say the same thing. so i found myself at 18 years old, the youngest guy in seal training and i was a long long way from maryland. and as you heard i spent two years in training marksmanship and reconnaissance from our fellow seals and then preparing them for war and then i would go to war misdemeanor. i was a sniper in iraq. i learned more there than i have ever before, and since. and i probably learned the most on a very dark night in ramadi iraq. we were a group of navy seal snipers and we resided in this house on the corner of a base along the euphrates river. right next to us was a house full of army rangers. next to them a houseful of delta force operators and then a houseful of cia officers. so not bad neighbors to have if
you find yourself in that part of the world. right? so we were given a mission one night to go into the city. we would be inserted in the middle of the night make our way to a vacant building where there were supposed to be insurgentsing attacks, -- insurgents launching attacks and we go to the roof of our house before we left, where we had small shoot are range and make sure our sniper rifles were dialed in you can't stan straight up on the roof because guys had beside shot at from across the river. after we got ore rifles dialed in we joined the marines marines who us off in the middle of the city. head on a swivel, night vision goggles, and we made our way to this vacant building. we entered quietly because we didn't want flynn to know we were there of course we're going to be there a few days.
we cleared it room-by-room, floor-by-floor, and when we got to the second level, i turned to hold security on the stairway leading up and my foot hit air. i fell through 20 to 25 feet to the concretes below. i was instantly unconscious. i had tarn pcl ten dan, pneumothorax bruised lung and six broken ribs. but the team continued to clear the building because that's what you're supposed to do you have to win the fight first before you tend to the wounded. but our medic then rushed over to me and realized he could hardly hear me bringing. he would tell me years later when i first saw him, that he stabilized my back inserted a j tube into any throat cleared my away and probably saved my life. he didn't stop there. he called in the marines to meds
evac me out in a helicopter, and he rode with the marines to take me to the helicopter. this was not an ordinary road like we have right in front of us here. it was filled with improvised explosive devices. in fact from what i remember, i believe we lost about 11 marines that year alone on that stretch. but stout did not care. he would make sure i arrived safely and then he would rejoin the team and the mission. stout put his life on the line to save my life. folks, i'm only here today because i stand upon the shoulders of those brave men i had the pleasure and honor of serving with. better men than me. men like petty officer stout. i learned so much from my fellow seals. bravery. courage. dedication. character. and i learned that a nation that produces these noble humane warriors is an indispensable one
in the life of the world. this is the greatest nation the world has ever known and that truth is reflected in the actions of the men and women of our armed services. we cannot let them down. we cannot let this nation down. that is why today i'm here to out about policies i believe are unfortunately taking is down the wrong direction in a pivotal moment in our history. when you were a soldier you take your orders and you serve. you do your duty. but now as a citizen, i want to use what i have seen and what i have learned to speak out in defense of liberty and the freedoms, given to us by god and defended by the government and the military. i refuse to be part of a generation that went abroad to defeat the evils of terrorism to come home and see washington lose the fight through misgodded national security and foreign policies. i cannot remain silent as our
leaders fail to speak openly and truthfully about the spreading cancer of islamic extremism. i will not simply sit back and watch as we turn our backs on our allies and appease those who are not our friends. too much of both or foreign and national security policies in recent years have been made for desire to produce short-term political goals, to gain political territory, and informed by unrealistic view of the world. wishing the world to be something that other than it is does nothing for american security or american interests. now, we can all learn a lot about foreign policy and crisis management and international relations from academics, but you can also learn quite a bit from real world experience. in this dangerous changing seemingly chaotic world in which we live in, i would argue that
we need more folks in positions of leadership who have experience in the more dangerous and sensitive regions of the globe. in making national security decisions, local culture matters. after my time in the navy i went on to serve in a private capacity as a security consultant and manager for a u.s. oil company in yemen. and ultimately i would deploy ten times there over four years. nothing that could i have been taught on these shores would have prepared me for what i learned in those sands. one day i got a call -- were in the arabian desert and i got a call that labor stopped on a project we were working on. there was a guy thenning to shoot anybody in the field that continued to work. now, in yemen that sort of thing is kind of ordinary. so i didn't think too much of it at first. but then i went to my tribal guards and none of them would go with me outside the wire.
so, i went down to their barracks, trying to find out what the hell was going on and they said to me, look, we can't go out there, that's nadji out there and they have hired guns and one guy shot his own brother in the head. i'm like, really? you guys are supposed to be tough tribal guards? these guys were armed but weren't hard men they weren't hard men like i had served with. so, then i called in the army and i sent our yemeni army detachment to firing out what was going on. i could always tell how strong the tribal sheikhs were based upon the army's reaction to them, or lack thereof. so they go out there and nothing is happening. i'm getting a little frustrated because we're losing money. and i get a call on the radio, it's my interpreter and she says they're all out there, but it's sort of a stalemate going on right now. so i had to do something. i grab an ak-47, convince a old
bedouin to go out with me as an interpreter. so we got out there to immediate the army and the nadji and the scene was fascinating. we get up there, and there's about 15 bedouin guys the tribal guys, all in firing position, automatic weapons not just ak-47s, and they're on one side of the road. on the other side of the road we have the yemeni army contingent who were also in firing position. and we have a gun truck there, and in the middle of the road there were a few guys sitting down there, including the nadji character. so we pull up and it's up on the top of the sand dune, and i just -- i remember get ought and thinking, who in the hell in the world right enough is doing this? probably nobody. so i get out there and i go and sit down with the group in the middle. i was surprisingly calm. but i knew i would have to take a very hard stance.
nadji was high on cot in yemen they chew a narcotic leaf. he was very nervous and gets up and walked away. any wrong move bit the army or bedouins could result in a disaster. you cannot call 9-1-1 in the arabian desert. that might be foreign to modern americans but that's one of the reasons why local culture is also it is there. so then the guy that was most rational and reasonable was the guy who shot his brother in the head. he was dress it's different. he had all black on, and i could tell he was a dangerous guy. so he relayed to me the demands of nadji through an interpreter. what they wanted was a fuel contract to deliver fuel between facilities. unfortunately we had already given that contract to one of his peers in the tribe. but there could probably be something that could be worked out that didn't hurt us
financially or contractually. it happens all the time over there, within themselves. so, i looked him right in the eye, very confidently, and i said listen i don't care if you stay here with your guys and threaten our folks for three weekness this desert. i will not help you. in fact -- i was completely bluffing here -- i will make sure that you never work in this field again. but if you take your guys and you take your guns and you leave and you allow work to continue, and you come to my office in three days with nad iwith no cot and no guns we'll work something out and i will help you. so he stops, completely surprised and pauses and looks at me and he says, -- hands me is ak-47, a cultural gesture to say i mean you no harm and he says we respect the fact that you came up here. we did not expect it.
nadji will come to your office in three days. no, i interrupted him. i wanted to make sure i was setting the conditions itch said two days. you come in two days. and he agreed. and they left and allow work to continue. and a couple days later, they came, and nadji got part of his peer's contract. his peer never complained at all. [laughter] >> i would totally use nadji and other negotiations later on. totally. some guys were holding stuff up one time i get a dahl and they're stopping work. i'm like, do you know who nadji is? because if you continue to stop work you're making million lose money so call him. problem solved. so i share this experience with you to make a simple point. in arabia power is the one thing. the only thing, that brings true
respect. it got nadji what he wanted, helped me avoid what i wanted to avoid. strength is respected in that part of the world, and in the tribal world it's practically suicidal to make unilateral concessions. the only way to establish peace or command respect or retain any influence is to demonstrate one's power. and now as a nation, confronting threats emanating from that part of the world, frontal russia or know, we need leaders who deal in strength leaders like ronald reagan, who understand that the world is not a classroom on a college campus. the world is very dangerous and it's full of people who respect only strength and power. if we want to expand our cherished values of liberty and freedom and personal responsibility and free market and tall tolerance that can only successfully happen through
a projection of strength and confidence. today we are increasingly riskings our leadership position and we're all paying a price, but no more so than the men and women in uniform in harm's way. broad senseless cuts to the military, through sequestration, social experiments on a body that has to remain disciplined. and sending folks overseas to fight with one arm behind their backs are grave mistakes and they're leading to grave consequences. ladies and gentlemen there is no greater friend to free men and women than the united states military, and there's no greater enemy to terrorists and oppressors than the united states military. our military is an overwhelming force for good in this world. and what the u.s. has done over the past century has few counterparts in world history. we're not empire building. we do not seek to expand our footprint or take over nations. we seek to keep the peace.
protect innocent people. and make the world safer for our fellow man. former secretary of state colin powell noted we have gone forth from our shores repeat lid over the last hundred years and put in wonderful young men and women, many of whom lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in. that work of preserving and expanding liberty and freedom is only growing more important. to successfully continue that work we need leaders whose policies aim at the root cause and not just addressing symptoms as they appear. an ever expanding kill list and unaccountable drone strikes may kill a terrorist here and there, and that's a good thing, but they also serve as better recruitments than guantanamo bay ever did. we cannot win a war on terror with tactics alone. but we have to have a strategy
of overpowering strength physically mentally, and virtually. what america needs is leadership with the courage to call islamic terrorism what it is. pure evil. [applause] >> leadership matters. we must be clear principled and consistent. this will embolden our allies to be the same, including our islamic allies who have been burned by the flames of terrorism. they are looking to us for guidance and leadership and that only comes through strength. we need leaders who understand that our interest aligns with other common-minded nations and not those who seek to fund terrorism or seek to create regional unrest or seek nuclear weapons. we need leaders who understand what it means to be on a team.
leaders who truly believe in america and our greatness and what can achieve in tandem with our national partners, international partners. of course, we haven't had that kind of leadership in the packs six or seven year are do -- the past six or seven years and that fact has helped remind americans, war weary as we may be, that these qualities do matter, and we cannot turn our backs on the world and hope that these problems simply go away. the world is too small the geographic boundaries of old are not really relevant in this modern age. we have to confront the world as it is. these are challenging times. but the thing about america is we are never out of the fight. we fall down but we always rise up again. we dust ourselves off and we press ahead. this is who we are. this is how we started. and this is how we will be
moving forward. and now it's time to demand the leadership we deserve optimistic leadership, that no matter what the challenge, we'll stand shoulder to shoulder with you and i and everyone as americans, advancing our interests and proving to our allies they can have no better friend. and convincing all others that they can have no worse enemy. we can use both soft power and hard power to achieve is in in a push-pull policies with robust leadership. that we give foreign aid to many countries and that show form our soft power and i'm sad to say with all the money we give around the world we're not taking advantage of what we give. and i find this fact amazing. the u.s. is home to some of the best marketers the world has ever known. it's why people wear michael jordan t-shirts in the congo, drink pepsi in paraguay. dance hip-hop like andrew in
haiti. yet up in of these professionals efforts, none of them have been employed and enemy mop stated to the people -- demonstrated to to people how we're help system seems absurds we would give foreign aid packages without making them aware whom to thank. let's use those talents that are arguably the most american of industries to help do that as well as combat isis brand. that's probably a better strategy for winning the hearts and mind than broadcasting to them through self-agranddieding leaks to "the new york times" that our president is personally approving every single drone strike in their country. when it comes to our power, we should immediately rescind sequestration, the dramatic tonan and untargetted -- draconian and untanked cuts made to the military congress failed to reach an agreement incutting the budget in a more rational and responsible and sustainable way. if you are a runner, and i know you are you know that it's easier to keep up than catch up.
it's the same way with military spending. we can definitely find savings but the sequestration cuts are indiscriminate and we need leaders to roll up their sleeves and not take the easy way out and put more of a burden on the already loadedbacks of our men and women in uniform. our way of life and our currently reluctant role in the world ultimate hi rests upon them. that is the reality and we owe them the best. now, speaking of our power, when and if we decide that people will go and fight and we have folks that it will go forward to and engage our enemies we must do so whole hearted live and wipe them out. unbelievably small is not a phrase that any american leader should ever utter about a military operation. that is a sign that we are not serious. and it also starts will having the resources in place prior to any operations so with we decide to go in, then we go all in. ladies and gentlemen, i've
served on the battlefield and in elective office, and i i've learned a lot from both places. what i have prim marrily learned is this. it's time again for america to see the world as it truly is. there can be no intentional confusing over the nature of these cent threats to our well-being and our way of life. there are evil people in the world. that want to erase the advances of the last centuries and subjugate men and women to the ignorance of their misguided and wrong beliefs and they present it wives the greatest challenge's our lifetimes. that challenge calls for an america that knows its place as the testified over liberty and freedom for all that is prepared clear-eyed and always vigilant. and that like my old friend petty officer stout from ramadi leaves no friend behind on the field of battle. thank you all so much and god bless you. [applause]
>> thank you. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. >> now weed -- we reside like to enup it for question and-and-like long watches on the bees, reruns of sign felled, and hershey kisses. >> plead wait until -- please wait until the microphone reaches you. >> i'm kim. recently i read where a senator tom cotton had said that with obama's telling the plans -- the military plan tore mosul giving
the timeline, how many are going in, the whole thing, he has actually come out and said that's aiding and abetting the enemy, and lieutenant general mcinerney retired said the same thing. so i'm just wonder what would we as a nation do with a president that is aiding and abetting the enemy? >> well, what i first want to say, where is my military table back there you think we should ever say when we're getting there, and how many people we're going to be bringing and what we're bringing to bear, ever? just makes no sense, and i think this administration had a history. they probably would argue different they're not abetting an enemy but they have a history of telling national security secrets, and doing things that give them attention to show they're doing something about the problem. even if it is pinprick air strikes and i think my military table will help me out again. can we ever win a war gist with airstrikes alone?
so if you are going to send our men and women overseas to fight on our behalf, your not let them do it with both hands. [applause] thank you for your question. >> scott, thank you for coming to santa barbara. scott thomas since we live in such a different america now what are the consequences you have had for speaking out and writing your book, positive or negative? >> that's an excellent question. thank you so much. i take it back to 2012 and i
will address this specifically. in 2012 when the bin laden rate happened and you know how they got their come with the tactics were, the actual intelligence would you ever say what you found there? no. once you had the other leaks and i speak about this in the book it started making folks in the intelligence community is really upset because our folks are on the frontlines in anders teacher operations in ability to conduct operations. we came together that we were very critical of the president for the security secrets for its own political gain to get reelected. we did the god we were certainly criticized, even the president himself was very dismissive of us. we definitely took some heavies which is fine. i don't care about that. the book at valve came out on monday. most of the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
i haven't been speaking with the democrats group. i was another jimmy carter center speaking. most of them have been on the radio and tv interviews. any e-mails and stuff like that is an overwhelmingly positive. a few folks but what about roche, to go to mind when their critical or something. so far so good. yes, ma'am. >> my name is harriet carol. i am 91 and i've seen a lot. also in our family we have some artistic miss and ideas for somebody that designed the escalator, et cetera. i didn't know i was touched with intel recently. i am the one that got the idea that slowed and stopped the war
in iraq. when you say how did she do that, i didn't have any training but if somebody's son is anywhere in the service in this country, i pray for them every night. [applause] i want to tell you one morning i got up and i said my god did i dream this or whether? i think that is the way to stop this war in iraq. what it was and i called them into the pentagon and i said you have to get someone -- this has to be called into the president. he likes to know when i have a new idea. it was president george bush. so i said i want somebody like a kernel with a couple of depot on
either side of bed and should meet with the mullahs fast and get as many together as you can. at the meeting, you say that -- i lost -- i'm having a senior moment. anyway, the fact is that they were -- what am i doing their christine? also with general franks i talked about leaflet. i told them about leaflet. we had that in world war ii and general franklin went and took the army through cure cook. they chopped leaflets for three
days. when they went through at the army not one bullet was shot from the enemy. anyway i said -- i warned them -- that's what it was. i warned them if the mullahs would start to worry about them selves because iraq -- iran would come into iraq and the first one they will look for it in love because they have 100 soldiers under them and their head will be on the right side, the body will be on the left side and turn around, the military turn. no questions, knowing there's a lockout here that it in "the wall street journal." >> thank you you're the prayer
thing is huge. you can never get enough prayers while you were over there. thank you. appreciate it. >> hello. my name is kenny. we have yet another secretary of state. what is your take on the latest secretary of state? >> john kerry? [laughter] does that answer your question? look, it's sort of the same name. he gets there and thinks he's going to the middle east to negotiate all these things.
and accommodate our enemies in iran. the goal is to get sunday with a rant to say they got a deal. when you listen to president sese or net and yahoo! just talked how it is because they are in that part of the world, it contradicts our policies and how they approach it. i just don't think it's going to advance anything. i don't think this administration is serious enough to allow him to be strong to get something done that will prevent iran from getting the bomb. [inaudible] i'm sorry. at that you said secretary of state. i'm just looking forward to 2016. [laughter] [applause] >> hi, my name is a well clark. thank you for being here. i am curious about something.
there's a number of books out in the last few years. mark is the trial american sniper, et cetera, et cetera. it seems like it comes out against them after the books are written. i wondered if you had me feedback from your brothers. >> sure, that's an excellent question. and they take us back a couple years. when you have the bin laden rate prompted a lot of books coming out except for lone survivor, which was marcus littrell. this operation went rating -- of redwing. it was an inspiration one they should know. when i was an iraqi was three days before that. the guys are like sending me e-mails, calling me surefooted stuff like that, making fun of
me. what i will say when you're at the highest levels of government even admirals who are complicit with the national security staff releasing secret to "the new york times" and collaborating with hollywood bringing people in the top-secret information and giving them access to mission planners and stuff like that. just because you're the top-secret clearance does not mean you are privy to all information. if you need to know basis only. when you have that in movies are created in a hundred million dollars is made in profits to a movie originally supposed to come out before the president was reelected. of course it was to help his reelection campaign. it is hard to tell people they are that they can't say anything. leadership matters. if they wanted them to be quiet they should have been at the highest levels too. that being said i don't agree with a couple of my brothers on
how they did it. at the same time they were there. rob o'neill was an excellent io. i don't approve exactly how he did it but when i workout with the leadership day, it is hard to tell somebody not to do what you just did as a leader. that is what i would say. rightfully so in the active-duty command you have the upper echelon who was not involved with the other higher-ups trying to get the discipline back and they have to. they have to do that. it is an unfortunate situation that came about first because of lack of leadership. thank you. one more question. yes, sir. >> first of all i would like to thank you for being here and for your service to your finest leonard on me and my question is based on your early seal team
experience. do you have any end i says to the policy developing towards cuba? >> you know i don't have specific policy. i would say no. we went down through cuba a lot of times, but it was never taught about until recently. but i don't know personally there's a lot of economic potential because if they do open up relations in cuba who is going to provide them with everything? it will be america. at the same time we have to make sure the castro regime reduces human rights violations and let people be free and give them more liberty. i did not get any personal experience from cuba in my time. she wants one more. she's really chomping at the bit back there.
he said one more. he approved it. [inaudible] >> hello. thank you for being here. appreciate all you've done for our country. what is your view on benghazi? [laughter] >> i will try -- i talk about it a lot in the book, but i think there were failures and mistakes of leadership before during and after. before because of security and the ambassador himself is asking or more security. it's a very volatile area. libya is a disaster. during you didn't have anyone going in there. there was a force they are. i've served on this before. you have your pager were backpacked number with everything in it. my urban gear, all that stuff.
you've got to be back in a compound in an hour. you're really something you you get into the fight. every red-blooded american military soldier sailor airman would be chomping at the bit to get into the fight to save americans. i personally have had friends who have died doing not. to me goes against everything in american ethos not to do that. a lot of unanswered questions. we are still getting information now that had to be pulled out through subpoena. we don't know what the president was. you know everything during the bin laden rate but you don't know any of this stuff even though it had effort to do so. it really goes in my book when i talk about personal gain. libya was pacified because libya was their baby. that was their intervention under the guise of the duty to protect to stop gadhafi from killing people. many more people were killed